Openness

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Unexpected challenges

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

My desire to explore the unexpected led me to talk to two sets of parents about their journeys through adoption and into being a family.

When adopting, these couples experience trials they had never have imagined. Some of the unique hurdles they faced were predictable, while others were completely unexpected.

Reunion in writing

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In her creative non-fiction essay “The Letter,” J. Jill Robinson writes about how she reunited with her birth son,  David. He was married and himself an adoptive father when David and Jill found each other. We sat down with her to find out more about her experience as a birth mother in reunion.

The visits

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Before I got to know both sides of Victor’s birth families, I had a firm opinion about open adoption. I thought it  was the only way to adopt, and it would help our child with his sense of identity and belonging.

Open adoption was better for the birth families, and our lives would be deepened by these new family members. In my cushy fantasy, I’d have a close relationship with the birth mother, and her family would be our family. We’d  snap group photos at graduations, pop corks at weddings, and sniffle as new kids came along for the birth  parents.

Tree of life

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

My son Gabriel has been talking about tattoos since he was about 14 or 15. He has always talked about wanting the tattoos to have some meaning for him, as opposed to just being a picture he likes. His first tattoo, which he got at age 18, was of the Liberty bell. It was representative of where he was born (Philadelphia) and says “circa 1993,” which is his birth year.

The upside of openness

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

At the beginning of our adoption, emotions were high, birth family visits were frequent, and roles were unclear. Well-meaning friends and family members suggested that it might just be “a whole lot easier if our adoption was closed.” We could bond with our baby without interference, and the birth parents could “get on with their lives.”

Living openness: Naming Victor

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

V is for Victor... or is it?

It was a sparkling May bursting with new life, and we were going to be parents in two months. We didn’t have a crib,  bottles, formula, diapers or onesies, but my husband Kevin and I had a name. Our son would be named Victor.

Ask the Expert: Dr. Michael Grand

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Over the past 30 years, Dr. Grand’s professional activities and research have been focused on search and reunion, adoptive family identity, provision of adoption services, and openness in legislation and practice. With his book, The Adoption Constellation: New Ways of Thinking About and Practicing Adoption, Grand challenges current and past adoption practices and discusses new and more inclusive ways of thinking about adoption. Grand also addresses the looming identity crisis of donor adoptees and the need for open information for the children of reproductive technologies.

Whinny the horse

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

My three-year-old son Callum had his first horseback ride today. He’s always been drawn to horses, and spends a  large amount of his play time trying to “ride” almost anything he can straddle. So we knew he needed to ride a horse. But we were surprised to see the ease with which he rode, holding the horse’s mane in one hand and my hand in the other, as the horse (named Whinny) was led around the pasture by her owner: Callum’s birth mother, Lisa.*

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